The Lord Mayor’s Summer Honours Ball

The band was delighted to take part in the Lord Mayor of the City & County of Swansea’s Summer Honours Ball, which took place yesterday, the 11th of May,  at the Brangwyn Hall in Swansea. Tasked with opening the evening’s celebrations, the band played a short but lively set which was well received by the guests in attendance. Included on the all-star guest list were local rugby player Alun-Wyn Jones, award winning actor Rhys Ifans and opera star Wynne Evans, who was host for the evening.

 

Further Success in Cardiff

The band continued its strong start to the 2018 contesting season, achieving 2nd place in the Championship Section at the opening contest of the 2018 Welsh League series, held at Willows High School in Cardiff on April 28th 2018.

The band’s back row cornet section brought further silverware back to the Bont in winning the ‘Terry Hill Best Back Row Cornet Section Trophy’.

In this Own Choice contest, adjudicated by Robert Childs and David Hirst, the band chose to perform ‘Sinfonietta No. 3’ by Etienne Crausaz. Full results for the section are below.

Best Back Row Cornet Section
Best Back Row Cornet Section
Position Band Piece Draw
1 Ebbw Valley Brass
(Gareth Ritter)
A Kensington Concerto
(Eric Ball)
1
2 Pontardulais Town Band
(Paul Jenkins)
Sinfonietta No. 3
(Etienne Crausaz)
4
3 Tylorstown Band
(Gary Davies)
A Kensington Concerto
(Eric Ball)
3
4 Markham & District Band
(Matthew Rowe)
Terra Australis
(Martin Ellerby)
2
5 Lewis Merthyr Band
(Craig Roberts)
Trittico
(James Curnow)
5

Best instrumentalist: Jeff Thomas – Flugelhorn (Ebbw Valley Brass)
Best horn: Deborah Bull (Ebbw Valley Brass)
Best back row cornet section: Pontardulais Town Band

The Man Engine in Swansea

A combined Junior and Senior band were thrilled to be involved in The Man Engine‘s visit to Swansea on Thursday 12th April. On the final leg of its tour of South Wales, The Man Engine started its journey around ‘Copperopolis’ at the National Waterfront Museum, where before the show, the band entertained the huge crowd with some well known Welsh hymns and songs. During the show, the band teamed up with the local Tenovus Cancer Care ‘Sing with Us’ Choir to wake the 11.2m tall mechanical puppet, with a rendition of the ‘Anthem’ written especially for the occasion by Welsh composer, Helen Woods.

Victory at the Welsh Regional Championship

Best Percussion Section – Lizzie Findley, Stephen John, Andrew Cooper

The band has been crowned Second Section Champions at the Welsh Regional Championship 2018, held at the Brangwyn Hall on March 17th 2018. In addition, the band has been invited to represent Wales at the finals of the National Brass Band Championships of Great Britain, to be held at The Centaur, Cheltenham Racecourse, on September 15th 2018.

In a strong field of 9 bands, performing the set test piece ‘Ex Terra Lucem’ by Jonathan Bates, the band’s percussion section also claimed the ‘Yorweth & Megan Gowing Memorial Trophy’ for the ‘Best Percussion Section’.

A special mention too for the band’s youngest member on the day, 2nd Cornet player Aled Tumelty, who has progressed through the Junior Band and has now made his debut contest appearance with the senior band – what a memorable debut appearance it was!

Full results for the section are below.

Position Band Conductor Draw
1 Pontardulais Town Band Paul Jenkins 2
2 Ifton Colliery Band Scott Lloyd 6
3 Newport Borough Band Robin Hackett 7
4 Ammanford Town Silver Band Glyn Davies 3
5 Royal Buckley Town Band Keith Jones 5
6 Abertillery Town Band Joshua Ruck 4
7 Penclawdd Band Tony Small 8
8 Crwbin Silver Band Craig Roberts 1
9 Blaenavon Town Band David Langley 9

Best instrumentalist: Seamus Gallaher – Cornet (Newport Borough)
Best percussion section: Pontardulais Town Band

 

A full report on the second section contest from 4barsrest.com can be read by following this link.

Some positive comments on the performance from brass band media on the day were as follows:

From 4barsrest.com The bar is raised by Pontardulais to follow — with a richly courted and textured account under Paul Jenkins. A super soprano player was such a tasteful focal point, whilst the drummer went all heavy metal in the finale to bring things to a rousing close.

From 4barsrest.com on Twitter A powerful blaze of kaleidoscopic light from Pontardulais. Cozy Powell on drums gave it the welly to close a fine show.

From the BritishBandsman.com A bright opening, light on its feet, with soaring euphonium dominating the texture. The martial music has a touch of brilliance about it, with lovely euphonium flourishes and tightly balanced close harmony. Subtle melodic details and shapes are coming across – nicely nuanced to contrast with medieval pastiche moments and the dissonant finish – excellent work and also control in the diminuendo to the end from muted cornets.

The soprano cornet soloist excels again in shaping he principal melody, supported by a resonant accompaniment. The flugel horn and solo cornet match the soprano – nice touch. This is being carefully and respectfully delivered. The controlled pianissimo ending is so quiet we can here the conversations from the bar next door – well done band! The ending is really beautiful – measured and controlled – out of which the glitzy finale emerges naturally and also expressively from the lower band.

Paul Jenkins then gradually winds things up, but the jazz fusion music is never over done – all in style and never so loud that we can’t hear the detail. When he lets the percussion off the leash, band responds with drive and power. Percussion went ott on the last chord but lots to admire in the playing here

Tesco Bags of Help

Pontardulais Town Junior Band calls out for votes to bag a share of Tesco’s Bags of Help Initiative.

Tokens available in the Tesco Pontarddulais Superstore now until the end of February 2018. Customers will cast their vote using a token given to them at the checkout in store each time they shop.

Pontardulais Town Junior Band and Beginners are expanding and are desperately in need of new instruments, music, stands, folders and cases.

Following a very successful Open Day in September 2017 we have been delighted to welcome many new members to our Beginners and Junior Band. We now have so many wanting to learn that we have run out of instruments!! We would very much like to give our members old and new some decent instruments to play on and also to buy them some exciting new music. We are also in need of music stands, instrument cases and music folders to update our current bedraggled collection which after many years of use is looking very worse for wear and held together with sticky tape and a prayer!

The Pontardulais Town Band and Junior Band participate in many local events such as the Annual Pontardulais & Hendy Carnival, Father Christmas Parade, the Armistice Parade, Goppa Christmas Carol Concert and of course our Annual Concert and are often to be heard outside Tesco’s at Christmas time playing Carols. We are also very proud to represent our village at local and national brass band competitions.

As a charitable organisation we rely on donations from band members, our patrons and what we take from performing in concerts and competitions. Christmas Carolling is also a very important income for the band and the generous donations of our local community goes a long way in ensuring the band can continue for another year. It is always a struggle to make ends meet. We have a lovely bandroom but of course this takes a large amount of money to maintain what with heating, lighting, water rates etc., and when you consider that a new Tuba can cost upwards of £8,000 replacing instruments is an almost insurmountable task. Most of our juniors play on instruments that are significantly older than them!

We have been very proud to be part of the community of Pontardulais for well over a hundred years and this money would enable us to continue to share our passion for brass band music with our young band members and help us continue to bring music to the community of Pontardulais.

 

Tesco Bags of Help Logo

 

Tesco teamed up with Groundwork to launch its community funding scheme, which sees grants of up to £4,000, £2,000 and £1,000 – all raised from carrier bag sales in Tesco stores – being awarded to local community projects.

Bags of Help offers community groups and projects across the UK a share of revenue generated from carrier bag sales in Tesco store. The public will now vote in store during January and February on who should receive the awards.

www.tesco.com/bagsofhelp

Burry Port Contest

The band achieved 5th place in the Championship Section at the second leg of the 2017 Welsh League series, this year held at Burry Port Memorial Hall on October 7th 2017.

With what the band believes to be the first competitive UK performance of the chosen test piece, the adjudicator, Ian Porthouse, placed the band amongst a strong field as shown in the full results below.

Position Band Piece Draw Points
1 Goodwick Brass
(Matthew Jenkins)
A King’s Lie
(Stan Nieuwenhuis)
6 196
2 Ebbw Valley Brass
(Gareth Ritter)
Fragile Oasis
(Peter Meechan)
4 195
3 Llwydcoed Band
(Chris Turner)
Symphony in Two Movements
(Edward Gregson)
7 194
4 Tylorstown Band
(Gary Davies)
Chivalry
(Martin Ellerby)
8 193
5 Pontardulais Town Band
(Paul Jenkins)
Sinfonietta No. 3
(Etienne Crausaz)
2 192
6 City of Cardiff M1 Band
(Nigel Seaman)
Endeavour
(Philip Sparke)
? 191
7 Burry Port Town Band
(Christopher Bond)
The Essence of Time
(Peter Graham)
5 190
8 Markham & District Band
(Matthew Rowe)
Dances and Arias
(Edward Gregson)
? 188

Best instrumentalist: Lawrence Savage – Cornet (Ebbw Valley Brass)
Best soprano cornet: Ellen Waite (Ebbw Valley Brass)
Best percussion section: Goodwick Brass

Graig Merthyr Memorial Unveiling

A busy Saturday saw the band put preparations for the WWBBA Burry Port contest on hold, to take part in the unveiling of a permanent memorial, in Pontardulais, to those who lost their lives at the Graig Merthyr Colliery. Amongst the names inscribed on the memorial are some past members of the band, further details of whom can be found on one of the pages in the History section.

Junior Band Awards 2017

Congratulations to Eleri Huxtable and Cameron Greenall, winners of the Pontardulais Junior Band Awards 2017. Eleri won the award for ‘Most Improved Player’ and Cameron won the ‘Best Attender’ award. Well done both!

Most Improved Player – Eleri Huxtable
Best Attender – Cameron Greenall